Wednesday, December 28, 2011

so sweet... and fibery!

 as if they hadn't long ago secured a life-long hold on my grandkids came up with yet another very special treat for me!  Alex carded this luscious luxury fiber batt for me with silky sparkle and lots of purple.  that gorgeous spindle is one that i'd "favorited" on etsy... and is even better in person!

and Zylie gave me this BFL roving that she'd dyed for me.  i mean... really! have we got a family thing going on here, or what!??

i could go on and on and get really sappy, but it all comes down to lovely gifts from my grandkids that are just totally perfect!  as are they.

ETA:  he's 11 and she's 9.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

D.Landreth Company Heirloom Seeds

i recently ordered and received in early december the catalog from Landreth Heirloom Seeds and it's one of the nicest catalogs i've ever seen.  besides the fact that they have a huge variety of seeds and sets, there is a section with color photos of the actual flowers and vegetables... not airbrushed or drawings... real photos!  if it sounds like i'm on their bandwagon, well it's because i am!  i saw mention of them on facebook and went to their website.  Landreth, like many small family businesses is struggling to stay afloat.  i guess part of my reaction to this company was that it is a small business, the oldest seed house in the US and they supply" heirloom seeds and classics for the garden"... and i want to support them!  so, check out their website, order a catalog.  i've started a list of seeds to order for next spring and summer.

2nd annual cookie making day at dome central

this is the best cookie in the world... has dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and butter and cream cheese.  don't know its name but will put up the recipe later.

tree still needs some pruning.... it grew as a volunteer in the pasture and we harvested it, lopped off the top of it... and here it is.... and it's a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than going to a tree lot somewhere, looking at every one of the 250 trees to find the "perfect" one, finally settling on one that you don't really want but you are getting wet/cold/tired/find it difficult to appreciate these trees now that dark has set in, wrangle it into the pick-up bed, .... see? i remember this gathering in of the xmas tree and found joy in not having one for the past several years.  actually the aluminum festivus pole makes so much sense!  uh oh i'm feeling that familiar grinch setting in and must get more coffee in the system and hope for the best.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

olives and stuff

during the summer i posted these photos of our very young olive trees (there are 3 of them).  they seem to be thriving.

and Jim brought in the harvest last week.   and here they are... all 17 of them.  they are on day #8 of the curing process  which i found online.  i did this curing thing a couple of years ago with a couple of handsfull of olives i brought back from crete, and they turned out quite good.  hoping next year will bring a more plentiful harvest.

and time marches relentlessly on toward xmas... and i'm slowly getting dome central and myself ready for the multitudes of family that will be here for dinner and festivities on  the 25th.  that is also the day that brother Curbhead has suggested for the planting of a tree over my dad's ashes on the hill overlooking the vineyard that he and mom planted almost 40 years ago.  that was Pop's wish, and with all the family here, it seems to be the right time.  the holiday decorations have been brought up from the basement and going thru them, it seems to me that i jettisoned probably half of them in the downsizing blitz a couple of years ago.  so i made a trip to my local friendly good will to find some candles to fill in the spaces... scored 7 that were totally brand new still in their  cellophane wrappings... bravo.  and the tree will go up on Sat., providing J carries out his assignment and finds one.  cookie making happens on monday with Maggie, Jordan and Maisy for the second year which i guess makes it a tradition.  for one kind, we will make the absolutely heavenly cookie that Kate makes.. it features white chocolate and dried cranberries and is ohmydeargoddessdropdead delicious.  might have to make 2 batches.  need to get going on gift wrapping... wonder how long i can procrastinate that damn chore.....ooops, the inner grinch slipped out there for a moment..

Friday, December 09, 2011

short days of winter

and it's 13 days now til winter solstice... time for bonfires and dancing and the beginning of longer days.  bring on the light!!  i found the following quote on Skippysgarden blog -

"I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September',
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December."
-Oliver Herford

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

last roses

 the last roses of summer, and that seems so strange to say of roses picked on dec. 3 here in what is usually the rainy wintery time in the PNW.  but, whatever... makes me happy to have roses from my garden sittin' on the counter 3 weeks before xmas.  and that reminds me... ta da... i'm officially squelching my inner grinch this year and will put up and decorate a tree in the living room and also will bring out the decorations and put them around.  well, after i banish the layers of dust on every surface... the left-overs of summer on a farm and dogs that seem to spend their outside time attracting dirt into their fur.  altho i have been told that the dust helps protect the surface of the wood furniture.  i would like to believe that.

and the inspiration for all the festivity at dome central?  well, the kids (grown and grand-) will come down on the 24th and it just doesn't seem right to have santa-believers in the house on xmas eve and not have a tree.

here's the latest update on the time piece (i love calling it that!!)
all this has been fused on now, 2 watches have been attached... i found some fine almost-invisible thread which i think will work to keep the watches in place, tho i might have to use super-glue in places.  and i learned something about using dupioni silk as a foundation fabric... don't do it!  that's what the solid green is and it's stretched and puckered and is creating a challenge.  so, there will be a LOT of surface embellishment on that piece.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


 the 23rd was our 33rd wedding anniversary... that's a long time and it's been what most marriages are... good times, some not so much, struggles, triumphs, lessons, adventures and enough goodness and love to keep it going.  my very sweet dear dh came home with these flowers (proteas), a whole fresh crab and a delicious after-dinner wine... and fixed dinner for me.  just couldn't ask for more.... winner!!  that was anniversary eve.  on the actual anniversary day, (which was thanksgiving eve),

Chris, Kate and kids arrived and we all went out for Thai dinner in Forest Grove.  then there was the tgiving feast day at Jen and Maggie's home... wonderful family gathering with lots of traditional foods... plus 7 pies (i want to know how that happened because i want a repeat!!)  21 people and 7 pies!?  oh my dear goddess of goodness... i ate so much over the last 3 days that i hurt myself... in a good way... sort of.  and then today is Kate's birthday.  it's probably a good thing that they left for home at about noon, before i could make a cake and arrange more feasting.  i'm not sure i could have done another day of that kind of eating.

anyway... i really love these flowers.  they are really exotic looking and Lynne tells me that if i keep changing the water they will last a really long time.  so i will.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


 for Anna, Judy and Pam... so they can see what's going on with this latest project, which eventually will hang on a wall.  i've discovered the joy of fusing fabric and it is SO much fun.  and i have a huge collection of old watches, most of them i've worn at some time and some are old watches that DeDe, my 2nd mom, had stashed away.  also, i have my mom's and my grandmother's watches. i've always wanted to do something with them, so here is the project.  and it is called "it's about time", with references to old time-worn sayings (sorry) (not really) and quotes relating to time... "time flies", "time on my hands" etc.  if you have any you'd like to suggest.. please leave a comment.  all suggestions are welcome!

so, i've been busy fusing pieces of fabric, cutting out shapes trying to find the best placement for them.  so far, the only thing that's been fused to the background is the tree.  everything else is awaiting its permanent location.  at the bottom right i have pieces i've cut from a very worn and ragged quilt that my great-grandmother made for me way back at the beginning of time.  the quilt top is so worn out and tattered that there's really no way to restore it, so i decided the best way to honor the work of my great-gramma's hands was to include pieces of the quilt here!  it's hard to see, but there's a watch face there.  also, planning to do some beading and hand stitching.  it's a long-term project and so far i'm enjoying it.

some of the watches and pieces  --------

Thursday, November 17, 2011

my life as a turkey

now... that's a grabber, isn't it?  watched a fascinating program last night on PBS with that title.. about a dude named Joe Hutto who is a writer and naturalist.  someone brought him 16 newly laid wild turkey eggs  and he incubated them til they hatched, became their "mother" as it were and raised them in the outback of florida until they were finally grown and left.  it was really a touching story and fascinating to watch this guy devote a year of his life to raising up these turkeys.  people and turkeys are so very interesting.......


and here's a quote for today, having nothing to do with PBS:  "if you go through life with your head in the sand, all that people will see is an ass".  can't remember where i got that, so no attribution.  sorry.....

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

a really fine week!!

Anna with the grape crushing/wine making crew... Jim and James
it's been a year since Anna and i have gotten together... too long between visits!  she arrived last wed. around noonish and we headed straight for Maggie's Buns in forest grove, one of our favorite places for excellent food, indescribable chocolate creations, and an interior decor which is whimsical, arty, tacky,  and the staff is always welcoming.  they catered my dad's memorial event and i can't say enough good about what they did for us!!  so, we had a huge and fabulous lunch, and took home some dinner for jim and chocolate treats for us.  after over-stuffing our faces, we thought there was no way we'd want anything else to eat for the day.  but we managed to make room for cheese and crackers and wine for supper and that was perfect!

on thursday we went to portland center stage for the matinee of "Oklahoma!" and i loved it just as much as the first time i saw it 3 weeks ago!!  this has never been one of my favorite musicals... until this production and i gotta say it was outstanding and fabulous!  in his researching of the history of the Oklahoma territory in the 19th century, the director, Chris Coleman, learned that there were over 50 all African-American towns and that one in three American cowboys was black.  he decided to do this production with an all African-American cast and boy howdy did he come up with some high caliber talent.  the bios in the program of the cast and creative team are amazing... and they proved themselves on stage.  in case there is any doubt... i really really loved this play!

after the play we made a visit to the Penzey Spice store where i always find more spices to add to my pantry.  Anna found some, too... like how could she not?  by then we were, of course, hungry again so stopped at a sports bar for juicy burger and tater tots.

the rest of our time we mostly spent shopping and eating... good will, some "antique" (junk) shops, mexican food, art sales gallery(Valley Art), Thai food, a community theater play which is best forgotten, brunch at the Hands On Cafe at the Oregon Art School, perused their gallery and found nothing i could remotely afford.  we spent one rainy day just hanging out at home watching movies... and snacking.  the week also included a nap on most days, which we desperately needed after all that shopping and eating!  also had time to discuss our lives, adventures, opinions... and to put forth our solutions for all the problems of the world.  it was a productive and satisfying time and i was sad to see Anna leave.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

old and new

ah... a diabolical dichotomy... one foot in the '60s listening to Tammy Grimes in the original broadway cast of "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", which i actually did see on broadway in new york!!  and the other foot in the digital computerized world of the new Kenmore washer and dryer which were delivered today.  they replace a washer that was new in the early 90s... no shit... it was a Kenmore and it actually did last that long.  this new one is high efficiency, computerized, low water, "senses" the load and adjusts accordingly, and makes the damnedest noises... plus it locks the lid.  come on.  reallllly?  and the new dryer replaces one of unknown age... probably not as old as the washer.  it was given to us after the original owner inadvertently closed her cat in there... and turned it on.  yeah, i know... grim.  needless to say, she wanted that dryer out of her sight immediately, so it came to live here.  and served well.  no more cats!

and tomorrow my very dear friend Anna arrives for a visit.  our friendship dates back to the early 70s and has seen us thru lots of adventures, personal complexities, adventures, road trips, marriages (one each), problems, happinesses, joys, heartaches, ... and it endures.  one of those friendships where it's ok to just go to the beach and sit around in jammies all day talking, drinking wine and watching movies.   and i'll just stop mind is going into the way back time machine when i just couldn't have made it thru the days of being a single mom with a small toddler child without Anna!!  a friend for whom i am eternally grateful.  Thursday we'll go to portland for the matinee of "Oklahoma!" which i saw a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much that i want Anna to see it and i'm delighted to see it again.  it's at Portland Center Stage in the old armory building in NW... a must see if you possibly can.  then maybe we'll go to the beach or maybe victoria or who knows... 

Monday, October 24, 2011

plant sale.. uh oh...

well, what can i say?  show me neon purple berries on
Full size picture of Beautyberry 'Profusion' (<i>Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii</i>)a shrub and i gotta have it!

 Beautyberry 'Profusion' (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii)

everything was 50% to 75% off (at Larson's Nursery
in Hillsboro,OR) and perhaps i went a bit over-board, but got some plants i really love!  2 roses for the new rose bed at one side of the veg. garden, miniature pomegranate, 2 heavenly bamboo, a pink gaura  that is gorgeous...etc etc. and more!   no words for how much my poor ole back hurts after digging holes and planting just a few of this bounty.

dwarf pomegranate  hoping it will be happy here and will thrive!  and now must get ice pack for my back!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

more Montana

we saw LOTS of bears (none of them alive!!) and mooses (what IS the plural?  spellcheck says that's not right).  anyway, the kids were very patient about posing for pics for their mom and gramma.  i was totally surprised that Z would even go into a place where there were stuffed animals, esp. heads hanging on the wall.  she loves animals very very much, and doesn't like any form of anything that was once living.  doesn't even like museums or anyplace where there are figures of the human form.  needless to say, she doesn't like dolls either...

anyway, we were in a steakhouse near Whitefish which had a sign out front welcoming hunters.  think we should have known what the decor would be??  the dinner was wonderful, but i could have done without all the mounted heads of moose, deer, long-horned sheep on all the walls.

Kate, Jim and i visited the Black Star brewery in downtown Whitefish.  good beer... i tried the Wild Huckleberry (samples are freely offered) then had a glass of the Frog Hop which was a nice pale ale.  and, yes, i did buy a teeshirt.

Jim enjoyed his porter... isn't that a cute photo!  i love it!!

another moose... placed on a shelf up above the lobby.. strange.    this one is at the local theater where we saw "39 Steps" which was a slap-stick and silly comedy... which we liked.

stay tuned... more montana to come.

Friday, October 21, 2011

i'm baaaack from Montana

last week we rode Amtrak to Whitefish, Montana... got back this afternoon.  it really was a great week! Kate and the grandkids drove up from WA and spent the week with us.  had a nice little place thru our time-share.  the leaves were changing color and yellow was the predominate color, which was gorgeous, but it did seem strange not to see the variety of reds, oranges, browns of the leaves around here.  most days were sunny... or part-sunny ... and close to 60s... no rain or snow!!

roadside information about Lake McDonald

we really lucked out on the day we chose to drive up to Glacier National Park... very clear and sunny day.  and not many other cars headed in that direction.  the big bummer thing was that the road was closed up into the area where we could have seen the actual glaciers... not because of snow, but because this is the time it's best to get road maintenance and repair done.  we did find lots of beauty, photo ops and chances for the kids to do some running around.  including driving around about 3/4 of Lake McDonald.

Monday, October 10, 2011

quilt show - Hillsboro

on sunday, Pam and i went to the West Side Quilters Guild show in Hillsboro.  we wandered thru the exhibit room for a couple of hours absorbing inspiration and taking photos of favorites to be able to jog our memories later when we tried to remember what it was that inspired us!  these were some of my favorites.  seems i have some sort of thing about houses.  have made one with "liberated houses?, Gwen Marston style and will prob. make more!  and color!  love the bright  colors.

this was one of Pam's favorites and she is probably at this very minute working up something in this style.

the black and white caught my eye, too... and then one with purple thrown into the mix.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


i feel like a freakin' manic squirrel getting the harvest gathered in and getting ready for winter.  i do love the harvesting part... and up to a point, i enjoy preserving it for winter... but there is always a sadness about it for me.  i know it's the end of summer, which means the grey, wet days are ahead for the next several months.  for me autumn = sadness, winter = gloom, spring = delight and joy, and summer = happiness.  and despite all that, i love living here and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, and i love my life and there is very little i would change!!  ok, one thing i'd change is:  i'd hire maid service and i'd have a gardening assistant (for weeding and carrying heavy things and pruning trees and bushes ).  since there's little to zero chance of either of those changes coming about, i'll just do as i always have... ignore the dirt and the weeds for as long as i can.

this has been a year of abundant tomato harvest and i've been slogging my way thru doing something with them.  spent yesterday making and freezing tomato sauce and making salsa.  will try freezing some of that and see how it is when thawed, but i fear it will be very watery.  have also filled one drawer in the little freezer with perfectly beautiful red ripe tomatoes.  will use them in soups, etc... dip in boiling water, slip skins off, place on cutting board and stab with sharp knife, put shattered pieces in soup.  apply first aid if the stabbing knife missed the tomato and a finger was in the way.

it was so windy today that i decided to take hanging fuchsia  baskets down before they blow down.  they are on the ground on the patio so the deer can reach them easily and finish their nibbling of the blooms. at this point it really doesn't matter.   i've been amazed at how many different flowers they like.... nasturtiums, cosmos, dahlias, geraniums, roses of course but i moved 3 yesterday so they are all now in the garden behind the 8' fence!!

and now the wind is blowing hard and the rain is pouring and i will forego all the platitudes and cliches about the need for rain.  time to get a drink and settle in front of the tv machine and knit on that second baby jumper dress for one of our baby girls in Vamos.  see you on the flip side (whatever that means...)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

spinning new stash

this polworth/silk fiber looked so luscious that i had to start spinning it and i was not disappointed... soft, shiny and spins so easily!  mmmmmm... very happy i am!